I am ecstatic to welcome Dr. Miriam Greene once again as our guest blogger. You can listen to Dr. Greene’s show “Sexual Health and Wellbeing“, Mondays between 12-2pm on Sirius radio xm81. Take it away Dr. Greene:
What is it with these urinary tract infections?
As patients grow older (more mature) they seem to complain more and more of symptoms as well as have urinary tract infections.
• Why is this so ?
• What is happening?
• And is this true?
Well unfortunately it is true. The closer women get to menopause, the more they seem to suffer with UTI’s. Lets explore what is happening.
The vaginal area isn’t a clean place. However, the body has learned to adjust to this. The vaginal area (and this includes the urethra aka the entrance to the bladder, the vaginal opening,the perineum and rectal area) has a terrific blood supply which fights off infection
The mucosa down there is thick and moist and maintains a perfect pH balance which prevents the bacteria from attaching and entering the entrance to the bladder (aka the urethra). So far all good. Thus UTIs are few and far between in most cases.
All of this changes with menopause.
A drop in estrogen causes us to ‘dry up‘. That great blood supply is diminished. The tissues are thin and dry, and that terrific pH we had has altered. The bacteria builds up and now we can no longer fight it off. We simply do not have the arsenal nor the resistance to fight the bacteria. The excess bacteria enters the urethra and suddenly an infection occurs. Burning, itching, dribbling, pain upon urination. Ouch!
Topical estrogen will help this problem as it replenishes the low estrogen levels in the vaginal area. Trying to maintain a proper pH can be attempted with certain probiotics.
For many women who do not want to use a topical estrogen or can not use estrogen the Vaginal Renewal Complex ( I call it VRC for short) from Inner Intimates is a wonderful alternative. I personally use this product and the company has made great strides in improving the formula as well a newly designed applicator for ease of insertion.
What makes VRC so good?
It’s not an estrogen. The product is all natural, and chemically unaltered.
It fights dryness, prevents cracks and skin breakdown and maintains,a smooth surface, preventing bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urethra and entering the bladder.
And while VRC can be used daily, the probiotics and the topical estrogens can not. Can you use The VRC with the probiotic and the topical estrogen? Yes that’s fine. Figure out which works best for you.
Most important is to…
- Make sure you empty your bladder on a regular basis. Holding urine for more than 3-4 hours is not good.
- Use good hygiene..always wipe from front to back
- If you are dry, itchy, and burning it might be a bladder infection. Call your doctor and get it checked.
Dr. Miriam Greene practices obstetrics and gynecology in New York City and is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Greene completed her pre-medical studies at Columbia University and attended New York Medical School, graduating in 1985. Dr. Greene did her post graduate training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, a Columbia University Affiliate, specializing in hysteroscopy surgery, training with Dr. Robert Neuwirth the originator of hysteroscopy.